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The term Antebellum is a Latin phrase meaning "before the war". In United States history and historiography the term "Antebellum" generally applies to the period from 1812 to 1864 before the end of the American Civil War.

The Antebellum Period is often looked back on with nostalgia in the US South, because of widespread destruction and occupation of the region by Union forces after the Confederacy was defeated. The novel and movie Gone With the Wind are a good example of this mindset. As a result the architecture and fashion of the period are more popular and documented in this region of the United States than in other parts of the country. Because of slavery and other human rights abuses, this era can be more offensive to some Americans, especially African Americans, than the adjoining Victorian Era.